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High speed fiber optics backbones

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2 Author(s)
Byres, E. ; Artemis Syst., 104-1260 Hornby St., Vancouver, BC, Canada ; Hanschke, E.

In late 1995, the data communications networks at the Fletcher Challenge Canada's Crofton pulp and paper mill had reached capacity and were suffering from overload. The large growth in process control information and personal computers over the past few years was straining the abilities of existing coaxial and fiber optic systems to reliably transfer data. In addition, increased network complexity made troubleshooting the networks extremely difficult and time-consuming. This article discusses the design methods used to create a new fiber optic backbone to provide the data carrying capacity and reliability needed for the pulp and paper mill's computers and control systems. High-speed network technologies such as ATM (asynchronous transfer mode), FDDI (fiber distributed data interface) and fast Ethernet were compared for their suitability in industrial environments. The design also incorporated Ethernet switches so that the existing Ethernet networks could attach at minimal cost. These switches subdivided the original single large network into approximately 24 sub-networks. This division greatly increased the network's allowable traffic capacity and prevented problems in any one area from propagating throughout the mill, and thereby reduced network and process downtime

Published in:

Industry Applications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 4 )